Authorities in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet city yesterday confiscated about 10 motorbikes and tuk-tuks on a bridge near the Cambodian-Thai border in an effort to curb traffic congestion.
Poipet city governor San Seanho said the bridge was always congested and had become a headache, so legal action was necessary.
“Traffic congestion happens constantly at the bridge between Cambodia and Thailand. These motorbike-taxi drivers park there and cause mayhem even though we have instructed them not to. They didn’t listen so we have called them to the city police office,” he said.
“If we just talk to them, sometimes they don’t listen. We need to take legal action, which includes punishment and signing contracts.”
Mr Seanho said authorities were tired of saying the same thing, while acknowledging that only a few drivers were causing problems for the whole area.
“These motorbike-taxis and tuk-tuks go into Thailand to grab customers in Thai territory and this causes anarchy. They don’t fear the police at all. Too much democracy leads to anarchy,” he said.
“Sometimes, the leadership has blamed us for not taking action, but it’s difficult.”
Mr Seanho said the owners of the vehicles were called to sign contracts yesterday.
According to a report he received, about 10 motorbikes and tuk-tuks were seized, with the majority being motorbikes.
Soum Chankea, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, appreciated the move by the new governor, who was appointed in December.
“We should be embarrassed to see order in Thailand and congestion and disorder in our country,” he said. “Many previous governors could not deal with that, but just recently we can see change.”
Mr Chankea noted that it was not only tuk-tuk and motorbike-taxi drivers that were causing the problem, but also cargo trucks between Thailand and Cambodia and cars at the casinos nearby.